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Balanced Negotiation

 

Disciplines > Negotiation > Negotiation Styles > Balanced Negotiation

Summary of differences | The way between | See also

 

Summary of differences

There are a number of differences between Competitive and Collaborative negotiation, which are summarized in the following table:

 

Characteristic

Competitive approach Collaborative approach

Relationship

Temporary

Long-term

Consideration

Self

Both parties

Atmosphere

Distrust

Trust

Focus

Positions

Interest

Aim to gain

Advantage, concession

Fair agreement

Information

Concealed, power

Shared, open

Strategy

End justifies means

Objective and fair rules

Tactics

Coercion, tricks

Stick to principles

Outcome

Win-lose

Win-win

 

The way between

Between competitive and collaborative negotiation is a narrow path where competitive elements highlight win-lose elements and where collaborative concerns temper any Machiavellian tendencies.

It is in this gray zone between black and white where many real-life negotiations tread, as the participants struggle between the need to achieve their more immediate substantive goals whilst also keeping within social norms and personal values.

It is within this middle way that social norms can vary greatly. In some global cultures, it is acceptable, or even expected, that negotiations are full of rude personal insults and outrageous lies, yet in other cultures, even a hint of rudeness would cause the negotiation to be immediately called off. In fact, the insulting and apparently highly competitive approach often works within strict social rules and, when the negotiation concludes, the parties can act as friendly acquaintances again.

When either side of the negotiation table comes from a different negotiation culture, then the results can be quite interesting. It can be entertaining, for example, to watch a polite (in their terms) Western person trying to barter in an Eastern market. Even within national cultures, different social positions can lead to very different styles.

The trick, then, is to first understand the other person's natural negotiating style and the degree of movement into gray areas that they will expect or accept. When you have identified the style boundaries in which they negotiate, then you can adapt your style to find an optimally effective solution.

See also

Competitive negotiation, Collaborative negotiation, Values, Culture

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